8.3/10
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698 user 159 critic

Good Will Hunting (1997)

R | | Drama | 9 January 1998 (USA)
Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

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Top Rated Movies #108 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Mighton ...
Tom - Lambeau's Teaching Assistant
Rachel Majorowski ...
Colleen McCauley ...
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Ralph St. George ...
Rob Lynds ...
Dan Washington ...
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Storyline

A touching tale of a wayward young man who struggles to find his identity, living in a world where he can solve any problem, except the one brewing deep within himself, until one day he meets his soul mate who opens his mind and his heart. Written by Dima & Danielle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people can never believe in themselves, until someone believes in them. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, including some sex-related dialogue | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

9 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En busca del destino  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$272,912 (USA) (5 December 1997)

Gross:

$138,339,411 (USA) (24 July 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2009, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have both co-written one other script each, although not with each other; Damon co-wrote Gerry (2002) with Gus Van Sant and Ben's brother Casey Affleck, and Ben Affleck directed and co-wrote (with his childhood friend Aaron Stockard) the script for Gone Baby Gone (2007). In 2010, Ben Affleck directed The Town (2010), for which he had also co-written the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

The combinatorial problems and solutions shown on blackboards are elementary ones, not the sort that would occupy a Fields medalist for years. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lambeau: Mod fx... squared... dx. So please finish Parceval, by next time. I know many of you had this as undergraduates, but it won't hurt to brush up.
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the film is dedicated to the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs, both of whom died in 1997. See more »

Connections

Referenced in And the Oscar Goes To... (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Why Do I Lie?
Written by Jill Cunniff
Performed by Luscious Jackson
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User Reviews

 
A slow burner, a fine achievement
17 March 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Sure, this film's plot is fairly predictable. Sure, if you boiled it down to its essential components it wouldn't amount to much. Sure, Will Hunting's genius is profoundly unrealistic.

Yet I'm giving this one 10 out of 10.

I don't know whether Matt and Ben have ever been in therapy, but they certainly understand a lot about the human psyche, how it ducks responsibility, and pushes blame onto others, how it dismisses the real gifts it has and concentrates on running itself down. How many of us suffer from the same problems as Will? Only those who deny their own vulnerability will remain unaffected by this film.

Not only is the script powerful, but the dynamics between the characters - all of them selfish, even Skylar - is vividly and plausibly executed. The film just about manages to avoid easy answers, preferring to acknowledge (indeed, highlight) the complexity and pain of personal growth and self-realisation.

You could read a lot of self-help books, but they won't bring across to you as powerfully as this film what it's like to be scared, what it's like to experience loss, how difficult it is to shake off your old ways of thinking, how important honesty to yourself is. If this is the kind of revelation Matt and Ben are going to come up with, I look forward to their future efforts.

The first time I saw it, I felt moved as the credits rolled. On my way home from the cinema, I felt sombre. When I got home, I finally burst into tears. This film burns slowly, inside you.

As cinema, it's fair to middling. The performances are all first class. The script is a jewel. As wisdom, it's second to none. A fine achievement.


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